Happy Halloween

Ghosts and spirits and the wind of autum greet you by the light of the moon

A little early still I know but it’s feeling decidedly Hallowed here in Oregon, with the wind and the rain and the cool weather. I’ve been a bit scarce in these Intertube-related parts and the image above is a hint as to why. I’ve been drawing more lately on top of my already full writing schedule. Between that and the work what actually pays me, there’s just enough time left to sleep. Almost.

As to why I’m spending so much time writing and drawing, well, more on that later. But it will be fun news, I’ll tell you that!

Til then have a happy Halloween and check back soon. I’ll have more stray thoughts and random links to weird stuff coming soon.

Number 1: Stop Eating Patato Chips

Over at io9, Annalee Newitz has a grand little editorial taking the piss out of the Singularity:

It’s not that we couldn’t anticipate these problems, and even generate some Plan B ideas for dealing with them. But it’s hard to plan for problems when our eyes are on Heaven – that place where finally, all our problems are solved and we live happily ever after. It’s a fantasy as old as recorded history, and unlike history, it never changes. Yet we still keep mistaking it for a perfect vision of the future. Each time a Singularity-level technology comes along, we pack our bags for paradise instead of thinking sensibly about how we can prevent the worst side-effects of this new technology from biting us in our angelic asses.

The really insidious problem with belief in the Singularity/heaven is that it makes you complacent. You stop worrying about the problems of today, because they’ll all just magically disappear any minute… now! …Now! …Now?

Instead of using your brain and trying to think up ways to solve the problems we face as a society and a species, thousands, if not millions of people sit on their asses waiting for Jesus or his AI equivalent to show up and fix things the easy way.

Well it ain’t gonna happen. Now, how do we fix global warming? get off oil? cure AIDS? We can do these things, so long as we accept that they’re going to involve a lot of hard work and innovative thinking.

Friends and Enemies

We weren’t going to see the Social Network but then we heard the inexplicable: that was good. You wouldn’t think there could be a way for this to be true. A 2 hour movie about the legal troubles of the socially inept uber-dork who founded Facebook?  But it is not just a good movie but a genuinely fantastic movie.

A lto f this has to do with the writer. Aaron Sorkin made a name for himself with the West Wing, pioneering the heavy expo-speak dialogue that made a show about the inner workings of the White House nto just compelling and dramatic but gave it humor, heart and context. Sorkin’s script for the Social Network does this with what feels like little effort. people have extnsive conversations about two or three topics at once, interwoven over time, while dropping pop culture references to highlight the emotional bits and it all just sings. That is how this story works and I can’t think of another writer today who could have pulled it off, making legalese, technical computer jargon and geek-speak seem natural and real.

The soundrack also carries a lot of weight and is masterfuly done by trent Reznor. It’s some of his best work and that’s coming from a fan form way back.

I was feleign a bit down abotu this years crop of movies, wondering what contendors would emerge for the Oscars but between Inception and The Social Network, I’m feleing much better about it all.